Google had a full day today, as the I/O event kicked off with some nifty announcements. Finally, the Nexus 7 tablet came to life, together with a sphere called Nexus Q, a very nice entertaining accessory and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the long awaited follow-up for Android 4.0 ICS. Excited about them? So are we, so let’s analyze them!
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is built on top of Android 4.0 ICS and it makes everything move smoother and faster, plus more fluid. Notifications are now more dynamic, allowing you to email or call directly from notifications. The keyboard is now smarter, more accurate and better with word predictions. Voice typing is also faster and search also gets a redesign, with a new UI and better speed, plus a more naturall Voice Search. Users can type a query or ask Google to find what they need.
Google delivers a precise answer, powered by the Knowledge Graph and offers a list of search results. From mid-July the update will be available over the air, starting with the Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom and Nexus S, with Jelly Bean also released to open source. Google Play was also announced as expanding, now including magazines and Google is working to deliver that with top notch publishers like Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith and more. Users can also buy movies now or rent them.
And finally, the special guest of the day is Google Nexus 7, a powerful, portable device with a 7 inch screen. The long rumored tablet is finally real, with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a Tegra 3 quad core CPU and 12 core GPU, plus a very light package. It weighs 340 grams, uses a front facing camera and costs a mere $199. It comes with a bundled made up by the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the book The Bourne Dominion, magazines, songs from Coldplay and the Rolling Stones, plus a $25 credit for purchase of movies, books and more. You can preorder the slate now in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. The product ships in mid-July!
Last, but not least comes Nexus Q, a sphere that’s used to stream music and video in the home. It’s controlled by an Android tablet or phone and it plugs into the speakers and TV in your house, being used as a social streaming device. Nexus Q costs $299, it’s available in mid July (shipping) and can be preordered from the Play Store. I see this device as a media Hub, that pulls content down from the cloud and plays it back to your compatible devices. It’s basically a small computer with Android, that plays back video and audio around the house. How cool is that?